1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Featured Can secularism be oppressive to any religious believer?

Discussion in 'Interfaith Discussion' started by F1fan, Aug 24, 2021.

  1. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2004
    Messages:
    30,662
    Ratings:
    +16,971
    Religion:
    Vedanta (reform)
    What makes governance "legitimate?" How is religious influence legitimate?
     
  2. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2014
    Messages:
    14,408
    Ratings:
    +13,608
    Religion:
    none
    Depends on the system.

    A system like the US is different from that of the USSR or pre-Erdogan Turkey.

    Secularism just forms part of a larger ideological framework and can't really be abstracted from this.

    Why does a non-secular system have to be oppressive?

    They can be, but so can any other system.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2014
    Messages:
    14,408
    Ratings:
    +13,608
    Religion:
    none
    Depends on your ethical principles and view of governance.

    How are any personal, subjective ideological influences legitimate?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. RestlessSoul

    RestlessSoul Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2021
    Messages:
    5,688
    Ratings:
    +4,836
    Religion:
    Agnostic Lapsed Catholic

    Don't see why. I'm quite happy to live in a secular society. I'm free to live my life according to the values I choose, pretty much.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  5. cOLTER

    cOLTER Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2020
    Messages:
    3,047
    Ratings:
    +934
    Religion:
    Disciple
    Yes! Secular totalitarianism is a kind of belief on its own. It can be quite intolerant of religion.
     
  6. Kooky

    Kooky Freedom from Sanity

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2020
    Messages:
    6,899
    Ratings:
    +4,055
    If reckon that if one used to sit on a throne, then being away from power will always feel like exile.
     
    • Winner Winner x 2
  7. F1fan

    F1fan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2021
    Messages:
    9,851
    Ratings:
    +9,586
    Religion:
    Buddhist
    I've never heard of this. Explain what it is and give examples. And of the examples, in what ways are they intolerant?
     
  8. Kooky

    Kooky Freedom from Sanity

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2020
    Messages:
    6,899
    Ratings:
    +4,055
    Of course you can still target specific religions with laws, you just have to be kind of circumspect about who is the true target of your piece of legislation.

    For example, you wouldn't be allowed to ban headscarves only for Muslim women, but you could still create a general "anti head covering" law and then make exceptions for all the circumstances where a non-Muslim would wear something on their head, achieving the exact same effect of religious oppression by "secular" means while giving the outward appearance of neutrality.

    In a similar vein, historically, countless nominally secular states used to ban marriage equality for spurious and nonsensical reasons just so they wouldn't have to acknowledge that they were acting as gatekeepers for Christian morality.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  9. F1fan

    F1fan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2021
    Messages:
    9,851
    Ratings:
    +9,586
    Religion:
    Buddhist
    It's a bad assertion given the alternative isn't supported, encouraged, allowed, permitted, etc. It's like asking: how often do you beat your wife? The assertion implies something that isn't true.
     
  10. F1fan

    F1fan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2021
    Messages:
    9,851
    Ratings:
    +9,586
    Religion:
    Buddhist
    Since secular can allow both ethical and unethical decisions these options offset, thus secular is neutral, yes? It neither supports or opposes ethical/moral positions, it just means free of religion.

    Exactly, and this is why a religious claim of moral authority can fail, and it is more likely than not that a secular approach will put limitations on any sort of religious moral authority that assumes it can supersede humanism.

    And in doing so supported a governing style that rejected Christian moral interpretation as having an authority, thus secular.
     
  11. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2015
    Messages:
    7,178
    Ratings:
    +5,044
    Religion:
    ?
    I can see that. A bit like saying something like "atheists can be murderers," I suppose. While nothing discounts an atheist from being a murderer, it does kind of make an implication. Though if I remember correctly, @Brickjectivity was responding to someone else's comment about slavery... not just drawing that conclusion outright with no pretext.

    I always thought it would be funny if a company made statements in their advertisements that, while true, implied things about their competition: "There is no urine-soaked fecal matter in our hand-pies!"
     
  12. F1fan

    F1fan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2021
    Messages:
    9,851
    Ratings:
    +9,586
    Religion:
    Buddhist
    I don't see secularism as ideological as it is practical. In governing a people with a lot of diverse interests trying to add religious/personal interests will only complicate the purpose of governance. A secular approach is actually advantageous to minority religions as they no longer have to fight the more popular and powerful for social influence. And this touches on what the person I quoted in my OP, that secular oppresses a "true believer", which is code for a believer who seeks more power over other religions.

    Yes, in that it makes no moral/ethical stands, but does aim to provide equality and freedom to the diversity of religion.
     
  13. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Turned to Stone. Now I stretch daily.
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Messages:
    36,552
    Ratings:
    +16,716
    Religion:
    liber-scripta grim Christian
    Unfortunately you can't just pull a single lever to fix things. We have to play the ball where it lies, as in golf. The Christians must oppose slavery amongst themselves, the secular people must oppose it through humanism amongst themselves, the Muslims must do it amongst themselves and so forth, the capitalists amongst themselves, the academics amongst themselves. Every group is just one more hole in this game of golf, and you must make par in all 18. It is insufficient to point to one group and say it is to blame for this thing which is a human problem which recurs in all times and places. It is the devil within not wolves sneaking in.

    Can secularism oppress? Well no, because its not a group.... But if you aren't actively preventing oppression than it won't matter. It doesn't do anything to stop oppression, so you have to add in humanism or religion or some kind of belief to stop it. I think.
     
  14. Kooky

    Kooky Freedom from Sanity

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2020
    Messages:
    6,899
    Ratings:
    +4,055
    Because the ideologies secularism is supposed to moderate tend to be absolutist ideologies bent on either subjugating our outright erasing any rival beliefs inside their specific ideological sphere.

    We shouldn't forget that secularism has its origins, ultimately, in the Enlightened reaction to Christian persecutions and civil wars against rival sects.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. F1fan

    F1fan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2021
    Messages:
    9,851
    Ratings:
    +9,586
    Religion:
    Buddhist
    LOL, sold!!!

    My point is that secularism seems more directed at religion that it does any moral or ethical concerns. Let's say there's a group of conservative Christians in the Alabama State House and they decided to pass laws that the Bible allows them an authority from God to own black people again, and as a twist only Muslim or atheist black people. The laws that exist via the authority of the Constitution gives the judicial system the authority to invalidate these laws, and arrest people acting on the laws. The secular system as outlined in the Constitution does not give religious belief any authority over its own group. This protects human rights and religion. It does place limitations on their religious beliefs and freedom, but only as far as these freedoms can't displace human rights.
     
  16. F1fan

    F1fan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2021
    Messages:
    9,851
    Ratings:
    +9,586
    Religion:
    Buddhist
    Yeah, it allows a governing system the freedom and flexibility to protect the targeted and limit the extremists. It helps create a balance within the diversity and competition of religious views.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. F1fan

    F1fan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2021
    Messages:
    9,851
    Ratings:
    +9,586
    Religion:
    Buddhist
    Where would gay rights be today if there were federal laws on the books from the republican majority of the Reagan era? Jerry Falwell and his Moral Majority tried very hard to make homosexuality illegal.
     
  18. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2017
    Messages:
    8,835
    Ratings:
    +11,368
    Religion:
    None
    LOL. You're in luck!

    Dear Dr. Laura:

    "4. Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?"
    http://www.stpaulsepiscopalbakersfield.org/uploads/6/6/9/0/6690860/a_letter_to_dr_laura.pdf

    [This is part of a larger piece that appeared mocking radio host Laura Schleshinger, who had cited Leviticus on her show as grounds for her homophobia. It's a pretty funny article.]
     
    • Funny Funny x 2
  19. Rawshak

    Rawshak Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2021
    Messages:
    178
    Ratings:
    +119
    Excellent number ten had me proper laughing out loud!

    10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev.24:10-16). Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
     
    • Funny Funny x 2
  20. GardenLady

    GardenLady Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2020
    Messages:
    492
    Ratings:
    +536
    Religion:
    ELCA Lutheran
    Could you provide examples of this intolerance or totalitarianism? What form does it take?
     
Loading...